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Strategy & Innovation

Forward thinking

Successful retail strategies give customers a convenient and easy shopping experience.

Whether customers are buying online and collecting from a store or shopping via a smartphone, retailers need to support this behaviour. An easy mobile experience makes it easier for customers to find and buy items, while fulfilment services such as click and collect and next-day delivery make it convenient for them to get hold of the goods they have ordered. RetailX research assessed how AU250 retailers have embraced technical and behavioural change.

Delivery services

Click and collect is more widely available among Top50 retailers, where more than half (58%) offer the service. By contrast, a third (32%) of the Top250 offer it. Same-day delivery is also much more common among Top50 retailers (16%) than among Top250 traders (7%). Geography is a factor for how widely these services are available. While 11% of retailers delivering to metropolitan New South Wales offer same-day delivery, the proportion is firmly in single figures among those retailers delivering to metropolitan Queensland (8%), the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory (both 5%). This may reflect where retailers’ warehouses and existing stores are located.

Next-day delivery is more widely available than same-day, offered by 29% of the Top50 and 15% of the Top250. It is most common in New South Wales and also Victoria (12%). The equivalent figure in the Northern Territory is 7%.

Nominated-day delivery, as with other premium delivery options, is more frequently found among the Top50 (14%) than among the Top250 (8%).

The website experience

Almost eight out of every ten (79%) of Top50 retailers give ‘autocomplete’ suggestions when shoppers use the search bar on their website. That compares with 66% of Top250 retailers.

Just under three-quarters (74%) of Top250 retailers offer recommendations for similar items on the product page. Businesses selling industrial appliances (85%) are most likely to do so, followed by those selling sports and outdoor equipment (83%), and fashion footwear (81%).

Wishlists that enable shoppers to save products they like for later are popular among the Top250 retailers, and can be found on most fashion websites, from those selling clothing (86%), to accessories (84%), footwear (82%) and jewellery (89%).

Perhaps this is one of the features that keeps fashion shoppers more engaged: shoppers spend an average 5m 27s on websites that sell clothing and footwear, cosmetics and jewellery. The time they spend is 27s more than the Top250 average of 5m – and well ahead of the 3m 6s that shoppers spend on software retailers’ websites. During their visits, shoppers visit a median of seven pages.

The most engaging websites are clothing and footwear websites, where shoppers visit a median of ten pages, and cosmetics and sports (nine pages).

Looking at mobile websites in particular, 87% of Top250 websites feature a hamburger menu button. The fastest-loading websites are those operated by retailers selling cosmetics (9.6s), sports and outdoors equipment (8.6s), and children’s toys and accessories (8.8s).

What leading retailers do

Supermarket Coles stands out in this Dimension for fulfilment options that include weekend and same-day delivery, alongside nominated day and time delivery.

Clothing and accessories business Cotton On has a highly rated mobile website, which enables shoppers to zoom in on products and also has dropdown suggestions for search. It offers click and collect plus same-day delivery in the Melbourne Metro area.

Department store Target wins its place in the listing by deploying next-day delivery plus click and collect, alongside a mobile website that features more product images than the average, alongside product reviews and ratings as well as a store locator.

Fashion merchant Trenery offers same-day click and collect and speedy fulfilment within metro areas: same-day delivery costs a flat fee of AU$15.

Liquor supermarket Dan Murphy’s offers same-day collection, while same-day delivery within metro areas cost a flat AU$14.90.

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